Kemba Walker relishes the chance to live one of his hoop dreams.
The Boston Celtics point guard reflected on his opportunity to represent the United States, telling reporters Monday that doing so fulfills one of his career ambitions. Walker is almost certain to be one of the 12 players on Team USA’s roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup and he’s beyond excited about testing himself on the international stage.
“It means the world to me,” Walker said, per USA Basketball’s website. “This is an honor for me to be a part of this USA team. I’ve always wanted to participate in this on this level of USA Basketball, and now I’m getting my opportunity, as well as these other guys especially the younger guys.
Walker, 29, is the third-oldest player participating in Team USA’s World Cup training camp and unquestionably is one of the leaders of the squad. That might not have been the case had Anthony Davis, James Harden, Bradley Beal and other NBA stars stuck with Team USA instead of withdrawing.
Walker re-stated how happy he is to play among a young, hungry group, which is keen to win a third consecutive championship for the U.S.
“We know a lot of the big-name guys pulled out, but it’s given the younger guys an opportunity to kind of showcase what they have. We’re all so excited to be here. This is something that we’ve all grew up watching, and we all grew up wanting to be a part of. It’s a blessing for us.”
Although Walker is too young to have enjoyed the “Dream Team’s” 1992 exploits, he’s old enough to remember the Team USA’s gold-medal-winning performances at Summer Olympics in 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2016, as well as the World Cup wins in 2010 and 2014.
Ever the competitor, Walker will do his best to add to that legacy when Team USA takes on the world between Aug. 31 and Sept. 15 in China.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images